License to Drive
|License to Drive|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Greg Beeman|
|Produced by||John Davis
Jeffrey A. Mueller
|Written by||Neil Tolkin|
|Music by||Jay Ferguson|
|Edited by||Wendy Green Bricmont
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$22,433,275 (US)|
License to Drive is a 1988 teen adventure film written by Neil Tolkin and directed by Greg Beeman in his feature film directorial debut. It stars Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Heather Graham, Carol Kane, Richard Masur, Michael Manasseri and Nina Siemaszko.
The film was in production in late 1987. It was released on July 6, 1988 in the United States and grossed over $20 million at the North American box office. It was distributed by 20th Century Fox.
Les Anderson (Haim) is a 16-year-old living in Southern California who is trying to get his driver's license and has a crush on one of the more popular and attractive girls in school, Mercedes Lane (Graham).
After failing the knowledge portion of his driver's exam, Les takes the road test (and passes), following a computer surge that he inadvertently caused. The Department of Motor Vehicles originally let him pass the exam (as his failing score was thought to be irretrievable after the computer surge) because his twin sister had scored so highly; they decided that twins could not be too different. But when his test scores are finally retrieved, his new license is torn up and he is officially failed. Les lies to his parents and friends, convincing them that he has passed the test. Unfortunately, his parents find out the truth and as a result, Les is grounded. That night, having already made plans to use his new license, he sneaks out of the house with his grandfather's prized 1972 Cadillac Sedan de Ville for a night on the town with Mercedes. After showing him how Los Angeles looks from far away on a hill, she tells him that her father used to bring her to the hill. While Mercedes is getting drunk, she and Les cause the hood of the car to slightly cave in by dancing on it. Mercedes then passes out.
Les panics and goes to his best friend Dean's house, where Dean (Feldman) fixes the dent in the car's hood. Dean persuades Les to go out for a joyride, along with their friend Charles (Manasseri), who are both still unaware that Les does not have a license. The three, along with a blacked out Mercedes (who they put in the trunk of the car), end up getting into all kinds of trouble and hilarity ensues as they cause ever more damage to the Cadillac. Meanwhile, Les' extremely pregnant mother, late in the night, wakes up her husband, shouting that she is in labor.
The next day, Les does get in trouble with his father after coming back home (after dropping Charles, Dean, and Mercedes off) with the Cadillac, which is by now seriously damaged. Luckily, Les is able to drive his father, little brother Rudy, and his mother to the hospital – in reverse, because the Cadillac is so badly damaged it can no longer be put into drive. After they get there and Les' mother is taken into the hospital, a crane fails and a falling steel girder crushes the Cadillac, much to the shock of Les and his father. The family prepares to explain the state of the Cadillac to Les' grandfather, expecting the worst, but Les' grandfather laughs it off when he reveals that he has severely damaged Les' father's own car, a BMW, in an accident.
Les' father tells Les that the BMW is all his now, and, laughing, tells him to take good care of it. However, Les has changed his mind about getting a BMW, saying he does not need it anymore. Mercedes soon pulls up in a white Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet, while Les says "I already have a Mercedes", he runs over and hops into the Cabriolet. Les then drives off with Mercedes, still without his license, and the credits roll.
- Corey Haim as Les Anderson
- Corey Feldman as Dean
- Carol Kane as Mrs. Anderson
- Richard Masur as Mr. Anderson
- Heather Graham as Mercedes Lane
- Michael Manasseri as Charles
- Parley Baer as Grandpa
- Harvey Miller as The Professor
- Michael A. Nickles as Paolo
- Nina Siemaszko as Natalie Anderson
- James Avery as Les' DMV Examiner
- Grant Goodeve as Natalie's DMV Examiner
- Grant Heslov as Karl
- Michael Ensign as School Teacher/Bus Driver
- Helen Hanft as Miss Hellberg
- Christopher Burton as Rudy
- Nanci Meek-Kusley as Shakey's Waitress
License to Drive grossed $22,433,275 in North America.
Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert gave the film two and a half out of four stars and described the film as "more-than-passable summer entertainment, especially when it identifies with the yearnings of its young heroes to get behind the wheel." He said the first half of the film was "very funny" but the second half was "much more predictable".
The movie was a box office success.
- "Drive My Car" by Breakfast Club – 3:13
- "Sweet Surrender" by Brenda K. Starr – 4:50
- "I Feel Free" (extended version) by Belinda Carlisle – 6:55
- "Time Starts Now" by Boys Club – 4:28
- "Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car" by Billy Ocean – 5:29
- "Crucial" by New Edition – 4:30
- "One More Dance" by Jonathan Butler – 4:32
- "Jazzy's in the House" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince – 2:55
- "Touch and Go" by Femme Fatale – 3:57
- "Make Some Noise" by Slave Raider – 3:28
- "Mercedes Boy" by Pebbles – 3:54 (single remix)
Songs played in the film, but not on the soundtrack
- "Rush Hour" by Jane Wiedlin - 4:03
- "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra
- "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra
- "Waiting for the Big One" by Femme Fatale
A special edition DVD was distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment in the United States on May 3, 2005. Special features included interviews with Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, audio commentary with Greg Beeman and Neil Tolkin, deleted scenes, TV spots, theatrical trailers, and the film's screenplay (DVD-ROM).
On January 17, 2012, Anchor Bay released the film on Blu-ray.
Sequel and trilogy
In an interview on Larry King Live, on March 10, 2010, the day of Corey Haim's death, Corey Feldman revealed that he and Haim had been developing a sequel, titled License to Fly, an idea initiated by Haim. Feldman also stated that there were tentative plans for a trilogy, with a third installment called License to Dive.
- "License to Drive (1988)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- Ebert, Roger (July 6, 1988). "License To Drive review". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on March 3, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- Easton, Nina (July 12, 1988). "WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : Murphy Still Box Office King". Los Angeles Times.
- Wigler, Josh (March 10, 2010). "Corey Feldman Tells Larry King About Corey Haim's Final Days". MTV News (MTV). Archived from the original on March 3, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2011.